OK, I have been on this rant before. I don’t care how well-written a book is, if I do not find a good story to go along with all those nice words, it is a profound waste of time for me. And I don’t like having my time wasted. So I am constantly on the lookout for good stories.
They are everywhere.
Beaufort, North Carolina: Founded in 1709, much history, myth and lore about the pirate Blackbeard. His beard in the drawings looks like Johnny Depp’s in Pirates of the Caribbean. And his house, built in 1709, is a modest enough dwelling. Blackbeard was a well-educated Englishman named Edward Teach who somehow got into pirating. Non-violent pirating. He was very polite to those he pirated, way above the raping and burning general marauding. Until at some point in his brief history. Crossed the line. Lost his head in 1718. Great story. I’d love to do something with that one.
Double Run Farm: Reining horses, very competitive. I grew up with Quarter Horses everywhere and had never heard of this event. Huge arena, trainers, nursery barn for the moms and babies–and oh those babies are beautiful. Specialized knowledge is required–a lot of it. Dramatic situations, exciting competitions, personalities of all description, hot, intense work, and the tension that comes with big egos and big purses. Dick Francis here I come.
A conversation with a friend about the son of someone she knows (though not well, thank God) in another state. His dad calls one day and says he needs some help “moving a body”. What is the son to do? He has a record. Should he get in trouble again, go back to prison, as a snitch his days would be numbered. What does he do? Well, in this case, after much deliberation, he doe the right thing. There is indeed a body, and the father is now being questioned in the disappearances of several people in the area dating back as far as his high school years.
What if the kid had covered for the dad? Where would that one have gone? What wououd he have done? What would he have learned? How would he have been changed? Would he survive?
So many questions. So many options. One short trip. Three novel ideas. Pick up the newspaper. Visit a new place. Talk to someone. Then ask yourself, WHAT IF?